December 16, 2020

The year no one had 2020 vision


Twelve months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Barack Obama. I was in Malaysia running storytelling training for the Obama Foundation. To say it was the professional highlight of my life would be an understatement. Having my daughter Alex with me made it even more special …little did we know what the next 12 months would bring.

It turns out that none of us had 2020 vision this year …bloody false advertising if you ask me.

Black Summer

My husband Steve and I spent New Year’s Eve sleeping in our car (well trying to sleep) after being evacuated from our holiday house at Bermagui. At the time, we thought the Black Summer bushfires would be the worst thing that happened in 2020.

Comedy Gigs and Booked Out Delivery

Besides the bushfires that cut our four-week holiday into a four-day experience to remember, personally I had a good start to the year ticking something off my bucket list. I did a stand-up comedy course and live gig at the end of January.

Professionally, sales were coming through the door at a cracking pace. I was starting to get concerned about how much delivery was scheduled in the first six months of the year. I had so much overseas travel booked in between February and July that I thought it might be a good time to start writing my next book.

How it all Changed

Little did I know that the 4th March would be the last time I stayed in a hotel. In hindsight, I would have savoured the room service much more than I did. I also didn’t know that a day trip to Canberra on the 10th March, would be the last flight I took for the year.

In a normal year…

I spend about 60 nights away for work… this year I spent three.

I take about 60 flights… this year it was ten.

I complete about five jigsaw puzzles… this year I did 27,000.

On Reflection

I thought it might be interesting to reflect on the last 12 months and what I discovered about myself, especially after four months of one of the strictest and longest lockdowns in Melbourne.

So, in no particular order my reflections are…

  • I think I am more of an introvert than I thought I was.
  • I found when you are only allowed to leave the house to exercise for one hour a day, you exercise every day.
  • I missed choosing wine from a wine list.
  • I missed the energy (and the sound of laughter) when presenting in person.
  • It’s really hard to look at the camera rather than yourself and others on the screen.
  • I loved not having to travel.
  • God I really missed travel.
  • And I loved how the shared challenge of coronavirus was the catalyst to virtually reconnect more often with friends.
Reaching the Other Side

Once we emerged from lockdown, it felt a bit like childbirth …when it’s over you think ‘it wasn’t that bad’.

As I look towards 2021 and my calendar is quickly filling with work, I wonder how much face to face training and travel there will be. Many clients have requested live workshops next year, knowing we can easily change to a virtual format if required. Other clients are sticking with virtual delivery for now, not knowing what the next six months will bring, as well as realising that virtual delivery has worked better than expected.

The Benefits of Virtual Training

I too was pleasantly surprised by the benefits of virtual training. Many of my clients expressed to me that the virtual training far exceeded their expectations, in terms of engagement and interaction. Often participants commented that they could not believe how quickly the time went during a half-day session.

There are so many benefits with virtual training …yet it is still not quite the same. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do about it at the moment so we may as well focus on the benefits. I have a feeling that it will be like when I was drinking non-alcoholic wine while pregnant. You sort of kid yourself that it tastes OK until you eventually have a real wine and think ‘Who was I fooling?’

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

I hope you find some time to reflect on the year that was and savour the things we probably took for granted.

I will be spending (hopefully) five weeks at Bermagui, returning late January. Our office will be officially closed from 23rd December to 11th January.

I hope you have a safe and happy holiday season and I look forward to seeing what 2021 brings.